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Nottingham Forest ‘need to improve and learn,’ says Aitor Karanka

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Aitor Karanka has told his Nottingham Forest players to improve and learn from thier mistakes after throwing away a two-goal lead at home to Millwall.

The Reds led thanks to goals from Joe Lolley and Joao Carvalho but came undone and had to settle for a point as the visiting Lions pounced late on for a 2-2 draw.

A disappointed Karanka admitted his side had not been at their best in a game which if won would have seen Forest move up to fifth in the Championship table.

“I am disappointed because it was a game that we weren’t playing well but we were winning 2-0,” said Karanka. “I said after the game on Saturday that we need to manage the games and we couldn’t manage the game winning 1-0.

“Today, winning 2-0 at home, it was more important, especially to keep winning games at home and going forward and I am disappointed as we should have won this game, even without playing our best.

“If we had won today, I would have gone home with the same disappointment because we didn’t play in the way that we have to play.”

And added: “We win and lose as a team. We have to learn because we didn’t play in the first half the way that we have to play. The plan of the game today was to play on the grass as we knew they play long ball, so the best way to stop that was to keep the ball.

“We couldn’t and the game was flat at the beginning, I tried to change it with Gil and Cash in the second half but it was impossible.

“I told them before the game, I told them at half-time and a few times within the first half, and once or twice when we did that in the second half, we created problems and we scored.

“It is to keep going and when you look at the league table, a lot of teams are the same but for the future we need to improve and to learn.”

Forest sit 11th in the table ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Riverside to take on second-placed Middlesbrough, who Karanka won promotion with in 2016.